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A good look at the machine

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012

* The inability to date of third party candidate Lance Tyson to make sufficient headway against indicted and ousted Chicago Democratic state Rep. Derrick Smith (Tyson’s own polling shows him getting just 38 percent) will likely make some Democratic hacks quite proud, in a perverse sort of way. All their work over the past 60 years has produced a population that automatically votes “D.”

But this AP report is ridiculously sad

But a number of residents say they are skeptical of the federal bribery charges and the “new guy” party leaders are suddenly supporting. Many said they were sticking with the familiar.

“I just vote Democrat all the way across. Whoever’s there, I give them a chance,” said Percy Winfields, 74, a resident of an apartment complex that caters to seniors.

Besides, Winfields said, Smith showed up before Christmas last year and delivered on a promise to provide turkeys to the tenants for the holiday.

“He didn’t lie,” the retired truck driver said. “That’s a plus right there, especially when he’s feeding you.”

In my opinion, that’s the classic Democratic machine in a nutshell right there.

…Adding... This is also, in a nutshell, a strong example of how spectacularly the Republican Party has completely alienated huge blocs of voters.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


28 Comments
  1. - Tom B. - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    There is such a pathetic understanding of electoral politics among members of the media in this town that I struggle to get through a day without banging my head into a wall.

    This stuff isn’t that hard to figure out and most of us hacks are perfectly willing to talk to you guys about what really goes on.


  2. - The NKI - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    It is sad to see this as his constituents are actually paying (taxes) to be robbed by him.


  3. - friend of a friend - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Well Rich, Derrick Smith may have been charged, but has not been proven guilty. The case against him may implode, or he may be aquitted once he finally is tried. Residents of the 10th. district, because of historically disproportionate criminal prosecution of it’s historically black population are adhering to one of the core beliefs of democratic american principles, which is innocent until proven guilty.
    Right now the only thing that Derrick Smith has proven is that he is an embarrasment. Democrats who knew his situation kept him on the ballot, now they are asking that same electorate to vote him down? Who are they foolin’, i’m from that West Side!


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    Pat Brady: “Percy Winfields? Percy Winfields? I think Percy Winfields is a ‘plus’ on our Voter File from the ‘Super Incredible, Often Replicated, Never Duplicated’, ILGOP’s GOTV Super Phone Bank! Ut oh, Maybe this GOTV thing might not work …”

    And …’Scene”


  5. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    Lance Tyson, Todd Strogers’ former Chief of Staff…hmm interesting, but this also may hurt Lance having been so close to Todd.


  6. - Walt - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    Just wait for swearing-in day at UIS! This is going to be a disaster…117 Reps raising their right hand up on stage with Derrick Smith.

    BTW, is Jesse White gonna be held accountable? This is his mess, but the media continues to give him a life-time pass.


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    In one sense, after the tricks the Republicans played in the primary, I can sort of understand how voters would be extra suspicious of an independent candidate showing up on the ballot against the person on the D ticket and just wanting to stick with the Democrat.


  8. - Eileen left - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    I am reluctant to respond to this however in my humble opinion the Repubican party in general is perceived by those in the minority community as being racist in nature. Issues such as voter suppression under the guise of fraud prevention,opposition to almost every entitlement program, trickle on tax policies, war hawkish tendencies , immigration , women’s rights etc. I know many R’s who do not espouse to these positions but the leaders of their party continue to alienate this constituancy.


  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    How much is it really the Republican party alienating voters and how much is it the part doesn’t exist in Chicago in the first place. When is the last time there was any meaningful Republican challenger for mayor or Republican alderman. I can think of Doherty and that’s it.

    The Republicans could’ve nominated the greatest candidate ever and they still wouldn’t beat Smith….or Jackson Jr.


  10. - x ace - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    “Turkeys at Christmas” ? Us country folks prefer the more traditional “half pints” on election day.


  11. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    Rich’s last comment really sums it up.

    It is not like the GOP has given anybody a serious alternative.

    As a Chicago resident who would vote for the GOP in the right contest, all I hear from the GOP is how much they hate Chicago.

    Telling me how much you hate me and my neighbors is not a good way to get my vote.


  12. - Bill - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    A nice plump turkey will get that vote every time. That’s the way the game of politics was meant to be played. It almost always works.


  13. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    The new republican walk piece. A turkey leg, with candidate information branded on it.


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    ===how much is it the part doesn’t exist in Chicago in the first place===

    It didn’t just vaporize into thin air on its own.


  15. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    I got my lesson on the “auto D vote” the first time I was an election judge in the north side Rogers Park area well over two decades ago. The Dem ward folks bussed in the seniors from every nursing home in the area. It was a parade of walkers, wheel chairs and oxygen bottles. The votes were needed for a close race, and they all asked for assistance “to vote Democratic.” It was a beautiful thing. The logistics of getting handicapped suitable vehicles, drivers and assistants to drive and accompany at least 200 enfeebled seniors was remarkable. Early voting has made such efforts obsolete. Party stalwarts in my area like Rep Lou Lang certainly work the early voting angle and I’m certain plenty of “help” is available so everyone votes the left way.


  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    What Skeeter said.


  17. - Hammer - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    When I was in high school Judy Baar Topinka came to one of the events an organization was throwing to get youth involved in civics. She came and talked in plain English, treated a room full of black and brown kids like potential voters and earned my 17 year old respect (heck I didn’t know she was an R until I was offered a volunteer position with her). I think she earned a lot of people’s respect in that room. There are votes in urban areas to be poached if you come with the right approach. It’ s probably impossible to build a majority but I certainly believe you can get a myob Republican elected in some areas of the city (especially along the edges) and start using that as a foothold to attract people in areas that have grown more and more blighted after decades of Democratic rule.

    Comparatively Jim Oberweis came once and gave his normal ‘illegals are evil’ speech (this was around the time of his Solider Field ad in his Senate run), in front a room full of youth who were in some cases (or at very least knew of) undocumented citizens. Even then he was clueless.


  18. - Tony - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    Walt makes a good point above. Doesn’t the Sec of State swear in the Reps or play some kind of formal roll in the inaugaration ceremony? (It’s been a while since I’ve seen one.) That will make an interesting photo: Jesse swearing in the indicted state rep he stuck his party with. What a circus!


  19. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:40 pm:

    The same corrupt and inept committeemen who picked Derrick Smith and trying to sell the new Derrick Smith.

    IIRC, there was some interest in others beyond Jesse White’s posse of the corrupt and inept participating in the process.

    Jesse White’s crew said they didn’t want any input from outside.

    Hey, the Democratic Committeemen created this mess for themselves. They insisted on appointing a new toady in the model of Derrick Smith. So, you can see why others are particularly interested in helping the corrupt and inept committeemen fix their problem.

    I hope Derrick Smith wins. The problem is only partly Derrick Smith. Over 50% of the problem is the committeemen and the process.


  20. - Hater - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    But I thought Jesse White/Walter Burnett/Maze Jackson has a field operation that was “the best on the west side”. I guess when the campaign manager goes on vacation to France a few weeks before the election, you know things aint good.


  21. - Not It - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    I just remembered that it is the Secretary of State that swears in the House of Representatives and signs their paperwork to be a Member of the General Assembly. #awkwardmoments

    Will Secretary White will refuse to sign the form? #rememberrolandburrismess


  22. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:03 pm:

    Let’s not forget that as recently as Jim Edgar a Republican spent time courting black voters (I don’t recall GRyan doing it, but he did reach out to other groups and I could be misremembering it).

    As mentioned Judy has long reached out to LGBT voters.

    And we still have some Republicans reaching out to Latinos–see Saviano, Skip for the most recent example.

    The ILGOP can follow the national party and maybe competitive nationally some of the time, or be competitive in the actual state they exist in.


  23. - train111 - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    As a suburban white guy who follows politics in Il reasonably closely, I shake my head in disbelief at the prospect of Smith being reelected by, most likely, a substantial majority.

    As the suburban white guy in a predominately African American family, I can also understand how Smith can be reelected. “Friend of a friend” above is certainly onto something. John Burge and all the African Americans released from prison after being found ‘guilty’ certainly makes one pause to reflect before condemning Smith right away.

    train111


  24. - qcexaminer - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    “as recently as Jim Edgar” who last ran for governor in ‘94—dude, that’s nearly 20 years ago. Illinois hasn’t voted for a GOPer POTUS since 1988.

    Illinois has been and will be a Democrat state for a very long time. GOPers are doomed to be just background noise.

    They know it, and anyone who tries to resurrect the ghost of moderation past—right or left— is just whistling past the graveyard. Illinois is not a “moderate” state. Democrats own Illinois, now they need to get down to doing the hard business of doing the right thing for the entire state not just their special interests.


  25. - overcooked - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    It appears that all of Lance’s success in promoting Todd Stroger and his agenda has carried over to his candidacy for representative.


  26. - Eileen left - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:38 pm:

    GRyan formed a relationship with Hispanics/Latinos went to Cuba w/Edgar Lopez etal also LGBT and CHicago liberals against Poshard


  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 8:39 pm:

    Maybe the truth of the matter is Jesse White is past his prime. although he can do a head stand he’s really become a liability to his own lineage that he seems to care so much about. Oh well


  28. - Chicago J - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 9:25 pm:

    What I don’t understand is why the House leadership ejected Smith before the election. The GA.wasn’t. even going to be in session and.they knew they could only toss him once.


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